M. Ryan Lee, B.A.
(2008 – present)
Ryan Lee graduated from Grinnell College, Iowa, in 2007 with honors in Chemistry. Prior to his college education, he attended an internationally renowned high school in Korea and was awarded a silver prize in Korean Chemistry Olympiad in 2001. He also was one of the top finalists to be selected as a participant for the 2002 International Chemistry Olympiad.
Arriving at Mayo Graduate School in 2007, Ryan was interested in neuropsychiatric diseases, especially alcoholism, which is a complex neurological disorder.
With extensive knowledge in chemistry and computer technologies, he contributes to several key projects in our laboratory. Ryan found novel roles of neurotensin receptor 1 and 2 in ethanol sensitivity and ethanol consumption. He has established a method to detect brain metabolites in rodents using 16.4T magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Currently, he focuses on integrated neuronal systems and the translation of alcoholism via a genetic dissection of the corticostriatal circuit in addicted behaviors.
His project is aiming to understand gene and protein expression in two different striatal neurons (striatopallidal and striatonigral neurons) in two subregions of the striatum (dorsal and ventral striatum); the neuroglial interactions; and how they respond to ethanol differentially.
He is conducting groundbreaking research, which will shed light on the development of novel therapeutic paradigms for alcoholism and beyond.